Greece to deport EU nationals who engaged in Gaza protests in Athens

Nine European Union nationals who took part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration at the University of Athens School of Law earlier this month are set to be deported. Greek authorities have moved to eject the protestors from the country after they, along with 19 locals, occupied a building on campus.

Members of the occupying crew were charged with disrupting the operation of a public entity and assisting in damaging foreign property. Lawyers for the soon-to-be deportees have called the decision "arbitrary and illegal."

According to the Middle East Monitor, the group consists of one man and eight women between the ages of 22 and 33 hailing from Germany, Britain, France, Italy, and Spain. Their lawyers confirmed that deportation orders had already been issued, meaning the suspects will not be allowed to attend their own trials. Two of those who had been living and working in Greece are reportedly planning on appealing the ruling.

The protestors left behind a bevy of evidence, including flags, gas masks, helmets, smoke flares, and pamphlets about the cause. They also uploaded a statement in both Greek and English urging others to join them on campus.

Such a crackdown wouldn't have been possible were it not for the current conservative government's decision to repeal a law in 2019 that prevented police from carrying out their duties on university campuses. The rule had been adopted in light of the 1973 student revolt, which was quashed by law enforcement aligned with the military dictatorship.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has made it clear that pro-Palestinian disruptions on the country's campuses would not be tolerated. Protestors have wreaked havoc on universities from the United States to Australia and everywhere in between.

As Al Jazeera reports, all nine suspects are being held at the Amygdaleza detention centre on the outskirts of the nation's capital in what they describe as "deplorable conditions" and "no interpreters."

"This revealingly fragile and audacious reaction of the Greek state still wanes in its outrageousness when considered in the context of the very reason the university was occupied: genocide," the group said.

Image: Title: Greece